Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Electing the King of Babylon


ELECTING THE KING OF BABYLON

If you have read my blog for any length of time you will know that I lean heavily toward grace, and I abhor some of the vicious attacks by believers on unsaved sinners. It is like shooting fish in a barrel, and it completely redirects the focus from their souls to their sins. Only God’s Spirit can give us a love for the lost, and when He does we should cherish it because it is the essence of the cross.

But there is another issue from which I have been delivered and which is a strong deception. It also sets up an idol and marginalizes the spiritual life of believers. Especially in America, it has been a colossal stumbling block and has led to all kinds of spiritual mischief. It wreaks of self righteousness and it openly exhibits a love for the things of this world. In summary, it is what is called “nationalism” and it goes against the overarching theme of the New Testament.

Let me unpack the definition of nationalism. It is a love for a particular country here on earth. The heart of such a love for the inanimate is self. And at the heart of self is pride. The Scriptures at one point categorize sins as the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life. And when you grasp that kind of expose, you must see just how apt a description that is of the earthly country called America. To be sure all earthly countries are fallen, but the culture in America has become a treatise on hedonism and the promotion of almost every kind of sin. And in an astonishing piece of fallen hubris, Americans believe they should export this culture around the world.

But let us not kid ourselves into believing the fairy tale that America was created by God and has some divine favor upon it. That in and of itself reveals the height of self righteousness and idolatry. When you attach divine favor upon inanimate objects or fallen governments, that is blatant idolatry. And what is even more horrific is when that government is pluralistic and invites and accepts all gods and religions as equal. And that is the construct we believe God favors and creates? How deep is that deception?

So aided by the spirit of adventure and industriousness, the nation of America was created. At the heart of the Revolutionary War was the colonial objection to being taxed by England. And once the war was won, America rapidly prospered and became an international influence. There were some spiritual awakenings by God’s grace, but as a whole the nation became more and more imprisoned by material things and the pursuit of pleasure. America became the example to the world of just what democracy and capitalism can do for a nation. The prosperity was breathtaking and the military might was unrivaled. America in many ways was the envy of the world.

But as the country grew and prospered, the underlying desire of the culture became more and more exposed. Yes there was still a framework of religion, and thousands upon thousands of church buildings littered the landscape, but the culture consistently grew in materialism and hedonism. And this nation was willing and able to defend its way of life against any and all threats. After WW II there was a population explosion and housing projects sprung up all across the nation. I lived in a large one that had thousands of homes designed exactly alike. The baby boomers had arrived. Television had become the dominant medium and we all became addicted to it. That would play a significant part in the direction of the culture, but make no mistake, even with television money was the driving force.

But let us fast forward to today. The American culture has morphed into what was inevitable given the original Constitutional structure. Democracy, or even a representative republic, places man as his own master and makes the majority the ruler over all. There are no absolutes, and even the original tenants of the Constitution can be changed and some of them have been. This is no Christian principle and the mention of God in the original documents is nebulous and would be excoriated if it was used in a church’s statement of faith, and yet people still cling to their misguided notion of a Christian nation. No where is the name of Jesus Christ mentioned in the original documents, and that was by design.

Take a frog and throw it into a boiling pot and he will attempt to jump out. But place him in a pot of lukewarm water and slowly bring the water to boil and he will usually die. Little by little the nation continued its slide into materialism and hedonism. So now you have television commercials during children’s programs that show more flesh than you saw ever on television in the 1950s. Alternative lifestyles are no longer alternative. Cars have become idols. Money is a god. Drugs and alcohol are mainstays of the culture. Profanity is pervasive. References to the devil or demons are widespread and entertaining. People like Donald Trump are idolized. Pornography is easily accessible in every imaginative form. Child molestation is rampant. The entire culture is drenched in all kinds of sin and debauchery. And in the midst of it all money and success are the driving forces within the culture.

As I said, this is the inevitable result of a pluralistic society whose original charter had the “pursuit of happiness” as its foundation. It is impossible to understand the depth of the depravity lived and enjoyed in America, and when juxtaposed against the holiness of God it must be almost unbearable. Only the redemptive patience of God has stayed His hand of judgment against the earth, and do not be fooled by the self serving voices telling us that this tornado or that hurricane are God’s judgment. When God’s judgment befalls this world there will be no mistaking its power. It will not just be New Orleans or New York or some other place where western “theologians” sit back and offer their pronouncements. It will be worldwide and no one will have to explain it.

This nation called America is not and never has been Christian. For sure there were men and women of faith who were leaders along the way, but the structure and culture has never even sought to be Christian. But somehow the evil one has deceived the church into believing it was acceptable, even commendable, to partake and enjoy the fruits of such a culture. And the misguided notion that America was favored by God played right into the hands of this deception. The church many times was not spearheading the drive toward materialism and hedonism, but they followed at a close distance, just close enough to make a weak case that we were not part of the fallen trappings of this culture.

And many of the most demonstrative sinners were used as scapegoats in order to provide exculpatory evidence of our desire to be different. So if we rebuked Madonna or Hugh Hefner or Barney Frank, we could legitimately show that we hated unrighteousness and remained separate from such unbridled iniquity. Sinners became our measuring stick and not the Word of God and the life of Jesus. Little by little the church became lazy and more and more relied upon its written doctrines rather than the living expressions of Christ. And the culture? Well we became fully invested and partakers on every level, only being careful to not be caught in certain sins. We reserved a few sins in order to provide cover for our own.

America has become a metaphor for Babylon, a place of hedonism, materialism, and debauchery. And the church has wet her beak in the culture as well. And while clinging to some unBiblical ideas, the church continues to be fully energized in using fallen systems to help cleanse the culture of certain sins as well as create a more accommodating atmosphere for personal prosperity. Both of those motivations are misguided and are actually counter productive to the gospel. The gospel is our commission to offer God’s redemption to fallen sinners and it must not be used as a disinfectant for certain aspects of the culture. When we fall in love with any culture or any country, we inevitably begin to focus on changing the culture rather than spreading the good news.

And now we have the election of 2012. And because the church is so invested and so in love with an earthly nation, it no longer sees things as they are spiritually. The church now sees through moral, democratic, and capitalist eyes. We still retain our doctrines, but in practice we deny them. To embrace a nation is to reject Christ. As believers we have no country here and now, and our citizenship is in heaven. What America is doing in this election is in effect electing a King of Babylon. Regardless of which party affiliation or which name, whoever is elected will preside over a country that resembles Babylon in practice and in principle. But the church still insists that through human efforts and human freedoms the culture can be cleansed and prosperity can be regained, at least more prosperity.

The church has sold her birthright for a mess of pottage and is following after strange gods. Evangelicals by the millions will vote for President Obama even though he holds some unbiblical moral stands. And evangelicals by the millions will vote for Mitt Romney even though he is a priest in a cult and has systematically accumulated great wealth through legal but questionable methods. And at the root of it all is the pursuit of wealth and prosperity as well as a fallen affection for the modern day Babylon. I do not wish to sound unbalanced or impress with hyperbole, but what does it take to open the eyes of believers to see exactly how America was formed and what America has become? And with what mirror can we use to allow the church to see just how compromised and culturally invested we have become?

This year has been a magnifying glass into the carnality and spiritual dearth of the evangelical church in America. Rushing to elect another Babylonian King, the church has revealed its blindness to things spiritual and its obsession with loving a fallen nation. Joining forces with heathens of all stripes, the church rejects humility, moderation, meekness, love, and the overall revelation of the Person of Christ. Instead, propelled by a moral and economic crusade, this election has exposed the fleshly underbelly of the evangelical community. Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof. And willing to embrace anyone who they believe will enhance their personal wealth, the church supports the spirit if antichrist, regardless of which candidate is supported.

God has provided a test. And if the church had been seeking Christ there may have been a chance for repentance and some level of awakening. However, since this election is a god, regardless who wins the election, the church will remain in a fog of mirth, sentimentality, and self centeredness. After the election it will return to Babylon, continue to practice the ways of the heathen, and prayerlessly enjoy the fruits of the culture. And four years from now, if Jesus tarries, the church will once again march with great energy to the sirens of democracy and national pride. And all things will remain the same since the fathers slept. But thankfully, Babylon will have its king, and in that king the church will continue to have its hope.

9 comments:

Steve (Esteban) Fletcher said...

Excellent article, I am very interested in reading more, I will follow your blog. bless you brother.

Correction: the church supports the spirit if antichrist, regardless of which candidate is supported.

if should be changed to of.

TheDude said...

Amen Rick! Your thoughts are the ones I've had over the last few years. Things have not changed from the time of Jesus' persecution. Just like the Jews of those times, believers today will choose Barabbas over Jesus. They seek a political, man-made solution to their plight here on earth.

Keep up the good work.

jerry mcfarland said...

yes, a very good article. Bro Joseph Herrin has written several articles regarding the true founding of America. It can be found here: http://www.parablesblog.blogspot.com/2012/10/new-book-available.html

We must come out and be separate. We are citizens of the Commonwealth of Israel and Ambassadors to the nations. Nationality is a difficult stronghold to breach, but it can - and must - be done.

Keep it up Bro. Rick.

jerry mcfarland

michael said...

I add my general sentiment to the previous comments. A couple things I'd add.

One: Babylon is a spiritual universal and having been to about 30 nations and their capital cities and or major import cities and to numerous major cities of the USA I said while New York City has all the fruits of Revelation 18 she is one of multitude.

As you have indicated the Church is also a Spiritual (catholic) Universal. The fruit is Love, Joy, Peace,..., and is Eternal while the world (spiritual Babylon) is not.

The Gospel is to preached to all.

Red Mark said...

Great perspective! I will be watching going forward.....

israeliteindeed said...

Loved this article.

I have tried to communicate similar ideas to other Christians in the last couple of years. I have been largely ignored or treated as if I'm part of the problem since I won't support their ideals, which they are sure will "save our country" if only enough people get on board.

Anonymous said...

HARD WORDS are not easily swallowed. Not by the saints and hardly by the sinners.

This article is a sobering and outstanding observation of American culture with which I completely agree.

If all who are called by the name of Christ in America believed these words - what then?

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a GREAT FALL.
All the king's horses and
All the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

When the American empire collapses and shatters in pieces, as surely it must, as certainly as experts say it will - what then?

Without the American military umbrella over Israel - what then?

When Christians of every ethnic flavor realize that the leadership wisdom they've prayed for has been used to betray us - what then?

Without government aid we have only our debauched churches to depend upon. What then?

May God have mercy upon us and shed His grace upon all who are called by His name...THEN.

but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

Anonymous said...

If God does not judge America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.

but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...

Connie Neu said...

awesome writing..Youve got the mess straight..What Am I going 2 do???? what can we do??